September 10, 2015 (Newark, New Jersey)― Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Something In The Way Of Things, a provocative and timely solo exhibition of recent works by Michael Paul Britto, organized by Visiting Curator, Dexter Wimberly. An opening reception will be held at Aljira on September 24, 2015 from 6–9pm. The exhibition will be on view through December 19, 2015.
Consisting of collage, sculpture, and video, as well as a site-specific installation, the exhibition addresses political and cultural awareness, as well as the misconceptions and assumptions communicated by mass media in the United States. Britto’s practice challenges and encourages the viewer to think about socially nurtured assumptions of Blackness, poverty, youth, as well as the characteristics of acceptable behavior to create a perspective that is more responsive than reactionary. By reclaiming that which has been appropriated, Britto presents messages that reflect the global influence of American culture.
“The significant experiences of my life, both past and present, have served as material for these creative explorations, while enhancing my role as a youth educator, which I consider an important part of my artistic practice. I understand intimately how an environment of instability and confusion can devastate, but also how these personal histories can be inspirational and serve as a touchstone for thoughtful exchange,” Britto says.
“There is a perennial need for artists who create work that generates dialogue and inspires meaningful action around issues of equality and human rights. Britto has mined his personal experiences and channeled them into a body of work that is artistically sincere and socially powerful,” states visiting curator, Dexter Wimberly.
The exhibition’s title is an ode to African-American poet, activist and scholar, Amiri Baraka's (1934 – 2014), Something In The Way of Things (In Town), a poem that underscores the quest for social justice and explores interrelated issues of race, national oppression, self-determination and national liberation for Black people.
About Michael Paul Britto
Michael Paul Britto graduated with a BA from the City College of New York. Michael’s works range from videos to digital photography, sculpture, collage, and performance. Britto has had residencies at the New Museum in New York as well as Smack Mellon, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and LMCC. Michael has been featured in shows at El Museo del Barrio, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Kitchen in New York, The Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in England. Britto’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art in America and the Brooklyn Rail. www.brittofied.com.
About the Curator
Dexter Wimberly is an independent curator born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is the Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International (ICI). A passionate collector and supporter of the arts, he has exhibited the work of hundreds of artists in the U.S. and abroad. Wimberly maintains a critical dialogue with emerging artists throughout the world by way of his exhibitions, public programs, and lectures at galleries and public arts institutions. He has organized exhibitions and programs for Mixed Greens Gallery; Driscoll Babcock Galleries; 101 Exhibit; Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art; bitforms gallery; Koki Arts, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA); and The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; among others.
Also on view
September 24–December 19, 2015
Tom Nussbaum’s work originates from a life-long interest in making art that expresses his view of the world using form and color. Nussbaum’s standing and wall-mounted constructions reflect his exploration of architecture and the structural frameworks of buildings and towers, mixed with references to the human figure. These works emerge from the artist’s deep interest in the formal concerns of painting and sculpture, as well as the interactions of color and form and the associations they carry. www.tomnussbaum.com
Both exhibitions are organized by Visiting Curator, Dexter Wimberly.
About Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art
Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art fosters excellence in the visual arts through exhibitions and educational programs that serve as catalysts for inclusiveness and diversity, promote cross-cultural dialog, and enable us to better understand the time in which we live. Public understanding and support of the visual arts are strengthened through collaboration and community-based educational programming. Aljira seeks out the work of emerging and underrepresented artists and brings the work of more established artists to our community. Through the visual arts Aljira bridges racial, cultural and ethnic divides and enriches the lives of individuals.
Aljira’s operations and programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey Cultural Trust, Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Edison Properties Newark Foundation, Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Lambent Foundation, MCJ Amelior Foundation, Merrill Lynch, Newark Downtown District, The New York Community Trust, Pharmachem Laboratories, Inc, PNC Bank, Prudential Financial, The Prudential Foundation, PSE&G Foundation, The Turrell Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and many generous individual contributors.
Aljira is located at 591 Broad Street in downtown Newark. For directions visit our website at www.aljira.org. The Center is open Wednesday through Friday, 12–6 pm and Saturday, 11 am–4pm. Phone 973 622-1600, fax 973 622-6526, www.aljira.org. Follow Aljira on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aljira; on Instagram: www.instagram/aljiraart; on Tumblr: www.aljirablog.tumblr.com and Twitter: www.twitter.com/aljiratweets.